Boney M: classic or dud

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While other threads mention Boney M, none seem to pose the c or d question.

At the moment I am obsessed with Boney M, largely due to the http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7042807.stm"">Georgian government's recruiting them to combat South Ossettian secessionism. I think that if Boney M bring peace to the Caucausus then they must be counted as Classic. I also think that the cover of their album "Love For Sale" is one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen.

I suppose like a lot of pop acts, Boney M might only have five or six really good songs, but they are amazingly good, tunes that will get even a corpse out onto the dance floor. Surely you agree?

The Real Dirty Vicar, Saturday, 13 October 2007 17:39 (ten years ago) Permalink

Classic^2, if only for "Ma Baker" and "Daddy Cool".

Plus, as you mentioned,

http://www.disco-funk.co.uk/b/Covers/boney_m.jpg

Z S, Saturday, 13 October 2007 17:43 (ten years ago) Permalink

"Rasputin" is very good as well. Those Russians!

I also find "By The Rivers Of Babylon" to be agreeably cheesy.

In terms of non-single tracks, or less well known tracks by the band, their cover of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" is astonishing.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Saturday, 13 October 2007 17:48 (ten years ago) Permalink

Classic. They recorded quite a few great cover songs, too: "Rivers of Babylon," "No Woman No Cry," "Still I'm Sad," etc.

xp

JN$OT, Saturday, 13 October 2007 17:53 (ten years ago) Permalink

Yeah, covers wise - "Still I'm Sad" is brilliant.
Otherwise, me always been reaaly charmed by "Painter Man".

t**t, Saturday, 13 October 2007 17:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'm struggling to remember the tune to "Belfast" (annoyingly not on the greatest hits comp of theirs I have). The lyrics are endearingly mental. Does anyone know if there is a spoken word bit in the middle where the Northern Ireland is explained, Rasputin/Ma Baker style?

The Real Dirty Vicar, Saturday, 13 October 2007 17:58 (ten years ago) Permalink

"There was a cat that really was gone"

And you're like guh, but then no it's true! but still guh, but again no that's really true!

Frogman Henry, Saturday, 13 October 2007 18:04 (ten years ago) Permalink

that is such a crazy news story!!!

s1ocki, Saturday, 13 October 2007 18:12 (ten years ago) Permalink

Classic for "Rasputin," everything else pales before it by varying degrees.

da croupier, Saturday, 13 October 2007 18:26 (ten years ago) Permalink

Here ya go, Dirty Vicar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Djil2tVDFxQ

JN$OT, Saturday, 13 October 2007 18:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

Dancer guy: a) didn't sing on any of the records, b) with that haircut looks like Richard Ayoade.

snoball, Saturday, 13 October 2007 19:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

"Dancer guy" sings live like a mad mofunkah. And owns the name of Boney M, natch.

t**t, Saturday, 13 October 2007 19:52 (ten years ago) Permalink

My faves are "Ma Baker" and "Sunny". They both work very well in almost any kind of set.

Spencer Chow, Saturday, 13 October 2007 19:54 (ten years ago) Permalink

dudder than dud. but i remember liking "daddy cool" when it came out. i learnt dancing in the dance school to rasputin. what a crap song. when i first heard bob marley's "no woman no cry" i thought he was covering boney m. those were the seventies in germany.

alex in mainhattan, Saturday, 13 October 2007 20:05 (ten years ago) Permalink

I fell for them after seeing *Touching the Void*, and hearing the mountain climber say that as he was freezing almost to death and the end appeared near he couldn't get "Brown Girl in the Ring" out of his head. That made so much sense somehow.

Mark Rich@rdson, Saturday, 13 October 2007 20:08 (ten years ago) Permalink

Whereas if it had been "Nightflight to Venus" he would have just drifted away...

Dancer guy: a) didn't sing on any of the records,

this does not matter, he very much made the band. it is noticeable that their slide into shite seems to have really commenced when he was sacked from it.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Saturday, 13 October 2007 20:27 (ten years ago) Permalink

The Avalanches use "Ma Baker" to great effect on "Live at Dominoes".

The videos are great:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt77ZqE1bCA

Spencer Chow, Saturday, 13 October 2007 23:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

I always liked Rasputin and the cover version they did of Painter Man.

Herman G. Neuname, Saturday, 13 October 2007 23:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

Largely dud, but I do like their version of "Mary's Boy Child".

Geir Hongro, Sunday, 14 October 2007 01:21 (ten years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

"Never Change Lovers In The Middle Of The Night" is a proper tune.

the next grozart, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 01:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm very fond of "Night Flight to Venus". Plus lots of other stuff, so classic.

contenderizer, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 01:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

Boney M is an office party essential. However, there's many a sad story behind the productions of Frank Farian. For Boney M he had a way of sourcing songs from other, lesser known songwriters... I don't see it in the Frank Farian wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Farian), but I have an old reggae tune on a compilation which is called 'Brown Girl in My Bed' which, apart from a couple of tiny lyrical changes, is identical to the Boney M song 'Brown Girl in the Ring'. Someone once told me that the original songwriter was paid peanuts to sign the rights of the song over to Frank Farian. I can't find anything about that on the web, not with a worksafe google search anyway!

moley, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 02:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

baby's gang w/ boney m "happy song" = CLASSIC.

htshell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 14:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

Moley, Brown Girl In The Ring is distinctly below par Boney M. Were any of the good songs lifted from these kind of writers?

The Real Dirty Vicar, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 15:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

Holy shit, that "Love For Sale" cover is just BEGGING to be "Cover Connection"-ed alongside some Westbound-era Ohio Players cover.

Myonga Vön Bontee, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 18:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Moley, Brown Girl In The Ring is distinctly below par Boney M."

Wow, I couldn't disagree more! I think it's one of the greatest things they ever did. And they did a lot of great things!

scott seward, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 19:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

and they shall never be forgotten:

I Can't Stop Watching Footage Of Turisas Doing Their Pagan Folk Metal Version Of Boney M's Rasputin!

scott seward, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 20:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

Dirty Vicar, if you don't like Boney's version you really should hear the original. It's super sweet and quite lovely. Actually I think it's called 'Brown Girl In My Room'. I might try and dig it out. According to the wiki, most of the Boney M songs were adapted from somewhere else.

moley, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 21:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Rasputin" always got played every year at the staff Christmas party. In Canada it's right up there with "YMCA" as a dance classic.

eeyore19, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 23:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

This group has always been completely unknown in the U.S., right? An internationally varied coalition of co-workers just gasped in horror when I said I might have heard the name before but couldn't name or recognize a song (which led to, of course, an acapella medley of their hits).

Savannah Smiles, Tuesday, 30 September 2008 15:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

Really? They're the best selling disco band of all time!

Siegbran, Tuesday, 30 September 2008 20:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

completely unknown in the U.S., right?

Pretty much. One top 40 hit -- their cover of "Rivers of Babylon," which only reached # 30 in 1978. Three other singles hit the top 100, but none of those went higher than # 65 ("Daddy Cool," "Ma Baker," "Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord.") Only Billboard 200 album was the great Nightflight to Venus, a staggering #134 in 1978. So they're basically like soccer -- hugely popular all over the world except in the U.S. Weird, huh?

xhuxk, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 01:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

Begs the question - Milli Vanilli: Classic or dud?

staggerlee, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 02:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think there was a thread a few years ago when i posited (to xhuxk, no doubt) who the US equivalent of Boney M would be: meaning ubiquitous and stadium-huge here, yet wholly unknown in Europe. not sure if we ever figured that out.

beta blog, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 16:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

posted Rune Lindbaek's edit of Boney M's "Silent Lover" on my blog here

http://discohorror.blogspot.com/2008/09/hearts-on-fire.html

funderwear (san frandisco), Wednesday, 1 October 2008 18:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Wow, just heard this Farian-produced Gilla Help, Help! LP from '76 (on an Asian pressing, no less). Totally like a secret and super-tawdry Boney M album I'd never even knew existed before, with over-the-top whorehouse lyrics. One song sounds like a cross between "Get Ready" and "You're No Good," plus they cover "Girl From Ipanema." Some samples:

Looks like youtube has Gilla stuff that's not on the album, too -- including an Animals cover, "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place," and a song called "Tom Cat." So maybe they had other albums, as well? Crazy:

They even do their own German language version of "Rasputin," wtf?

xhuxk, Saturday, 10 January 2009 02:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

While I'm at it, what the heck, pretty sure this is Farian's biggest hit post-Boney and pre-Vanilli, namely Far Corporation's 1985 cover of "Stairway to Heaven," which went to #89 on the U.S. pop chart:

xhuxk, Saturday, 10 January 2009 02:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

Actually, correction, the Gilla LP says 1978 on the record label and 1979 on the outer sleeve, not 1976. I'm horrible with Asian-language alphabets, but my undeducated guess is that the pressing I got is from Thailand (where both Boney M and whorehouses are extremely popular, I'm told, though I've never been there.

xhuxk, Saturday, 10 January 2009 02:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

that "Love For Sale" cover is just BEGGING to be "Cover Connection"-ed alongside some Westbound-era Ohio Players cover

Did something real similar to this in my second back, but connected it with the bechained back cover of Isaac Hayes's Joy instead.

Brown Girl In The Ring is distinctly below par Boney M.

Utter horseshit.

xhuxk, Saturday, 10 January 2009 02:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

i see two cool gilla cd comps on ebay, but they are too pricey for me. i'll look for cheaper copies. maybe amazon. all the vinyl on ebay is from turkey and portugal and italy. all singles though, no albums.

scott seward, Saturday, 10 January 2009 02:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

I got mine for free! In a big box that came in the mail from the singer of the Angry Samoans!

my second back

second BOOK, obv

xhuxk, Saturday, 10 January 2009 02:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

yer a lucky duck.

scott seward, Saturday, 10 January 2009 03:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

"Rivers Of Babylon," banned on the West Bank

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100722/ap_en_ot/ml_palestinians_boney_m

xhuxk, Thursday, 22 July 2010 15:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

RIP Bobby Farrell

Satantango! (Matt #2), Thursday, 30 December 2010 14:55 (six years ago) Permalink

rip

jodeci & oracle (kkvgz), Thursday, 30 December 2010 18:07 (six years ago) Permalink

Teena Marie and Bobby Farrell, just a few days apart -- What a shitty way to end the year.

xhuxk, Thursday, 30 December 2010 18:17 (six years ago) Permalink

he was a steppenwolf

jodeci & oracle (kkvgz), Thursday, 30 December 2010 18:18 (six years ago) Permalink

God hates poptimists this week. RIP.

Fitting he died in Russia, though, no?

Kevin John Bozelka, Thursday, 30 December 2010 19:09 (six years ago) Permalink

And the day after Rasputin.

nate woolls, Thursday, 30 December 2010 19:11 (six years ago) Permalink

woah

jodeci & oracle (kkvgz), Thursday, 30 December 2010 19:36 (six years ago) Permalink

Another disco singer leaves us too soon. Boney M never got their due. When can I get them on mp3.

toni mitchell (u s steel), Thursday, 30 December 2010 19:46 (six years ago) Permalink

RIP

Did he actually sing on those Boney M records, or was he just Frank Farian's mime?

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:18 (six years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

just one "on."

Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Tuesday, 9 October 2012 22:00 (five years ago) Permalink

You're so so wrong about Never Change Your Lovers In The Middle Of The Night - one of the funkiest mid-tempo disco tracks ever. Love the slap bass breakdown.

This Is... The Police (dog latin), Wednesday, 10 October 2012 11:02 (five years ago) Permalink

I find it very hard to believe that the singers don't understand the words to the songs, looking at the various session singer involved in Boney M:

Liz Mitchell, Marcia Barrett, Reggie Tsiboe, Frank Farian, Madeline Davis, Cathy Bartney, Patricia Schockley, Elaine Goff, Amy Goff.

Siegbran, Wednesday, 10 October 2012 12:19 (five years ago) Permalink

In view of the continued use of the word "wrong" when applied to somebody else's personal opinion, I have applied to have the word in this context routinely replaced with the word "beetroot."

Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Thursday, 11 October 2012 09:07 (five years ago) Permalink

In that case, you're dead beetroot about Never Change Lovers. Come on, that piano breakdown in the middle 8th is reason enough to <3 Boney M unconditionally.

This Is... The Police (dog latin), Thursday, 11 October 2012 09:20 (five years ago) Permalink

As with a lot of their other records, Boney M would be good if it wasn't for Boney M.

Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Thursday, 11 October 2012 09:37 (five years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Then Play Long update gets to their 20-track TV-advertised best of: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/boney-m-magic-of-boney-m-20-golden-hits.html

Comfortingly WTF as a semi-camp Eurodisco act, less convincing when they tried to be Bahama Abba.

Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Tuesday, 8 January 2013 16:21 (four years ago) Permalink

togther with abba the dudest band on the planet. those two are responsible for the worst music of the 1970s. additionally their music was playing everywhere at the time, you couldn't escape this rubbish. i learnt to dance to rasputin, no wonder that my dancing faculties never ever evolved...

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 8 January 2013 21:12 (four years ago) Permalink

They did a Christmas album that I play every year and I like it quite a bit. So, classic.

Doctor Flange, Wednesday, 9 January 2013 02:37 (four years ago) Permalink

You're still wrong about Never Change Lovers in the Middle of the Night, Marcello.

Alex IM is wrong about everything ITT.

besides Sunny Real Estate (dog latin), Wednesday, 9 January 2013 09:19 (four years ago) Permalink

DL, it's time for the most important work you'll ever do in your life. Find out about yourself. Get to know yourself. Enjoy life.

Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Thursday, 10 January 2013 09:29 (four years ago) Permalink

plus, jitterbug

Mark G, Thursday, 10 January 2013 09:31 (four years ago) Permalink

However, for Bowie/Official Charts Company and other reasons, we're winding up TPL: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/we-cant-go-on-like-this.html

Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Thursday, 10 January 2013 11:03 (four years ago) Permalink

I haven't been following the Bowie hype - why does it break the rules?

besides Sunny Real Estate (dog latin), Thursday, 10 January 2013 11:09 (four years ago) Permalink

The reason is that part of the single sales are tied in with promotion of his new album, i.e. buy the single now and get the album when it comes out. Even if these sales could be separated from actual "single sales" I don't see how (a) OCC can't separate them with the technology available to them and (b) they merit separation in the first place. Hype has been an occupational hazard in the singles chart throughout its entire existence, but I think this is a classic example of an old organisation unable to come to terms with new means of selling music, and if they're going to purposely leave out the nation's most popular song then why should their chart be taken remotely seriously?

Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Thursday, 10 January 2013 11:22 (four years ago) Permalink

I haven't paid attention to the singles chart in well over a decade now, so I can't really answer that one. So do people who buy the single get the album free?

besides Sunny Real Estate (dog latin), Thursday, 10 January 2013 11:26 (four years ago) Permalink

No, people who buy the album get the single now, the rest of the album later. Or you can just buy the single on its own.

mike t-diva, Thursday, 10 January 2013 11:36 (four years ago) Permalink

I agree with much of what you say about the OCC Marcello (and disagree with you on "Scream and Shout" but let's leave that). But it seems obvious that the singles chart, which started life as a promotional tool, is increasingly unnecessary and irrelevant as a promotional tool. Popular music has outgrown the Top of the Pops mentality, for better or worse. Where the form of "the chart" remains it's only as a nakedly dishonest structure for music TV or radio stations to mould playlists around. the dishonesty itself tho was probably always there.

Broken Clock Britain (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 10 January 2013 11:43 (four years ago) Permalink

^

besides Sunny Real Estate (dog latin), Thursday, 10 January 2013 11:46 (four years ago) Permalink

So, this was similar to 'inserting a voucher into the sleeve of the 45" of old?

It's funny, rules change and then they change back..

One time, it was expressly forbidden to get your fan base to buy your single in specific shops to guarantee a high chart entry, then one day John Otway decided to do exactly that with a view to staying within the rules, and got a lot of help and advice from the chart compilers to do exactly that. I guess they liked him..

I can only remember two instances of voucher, one involved the Art of Noise and a press-out voucher on the sleeve of "Close to the Edit" (allowed), and the 12" of "Sheenah is a punk rocker" where you could send it off for a Ramones t-shirt. (for a price I think)

I 'lost faith' when 'Crazy' Gnarls Barkley got 'excluded' by the record company from the chart for no other reason than they 'said so' but continued to sell the single anyway and it had 'phantom' top 10 placings for a long time.

Still, the current method of selling things that the company does not have to 'manufacture' is something the industry has been pining for for decades...

Mark G, Thursday, 10 January 2013 11:52 (four years ago) Permalink

i'm surprised there's no method of determining which copies were given away as freebies and which copies were expressly bought, but if there's not, then it seems pretty reasonable to exclude it from the chart imo

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 10 January 2013 12:10 (four years ago) Permalink

The OCC are saying that they can't distinguish album pre-order sales from single track sales, as the info isn't provided to them by the retailers - but if the retailers did provide the info, they would count the single sales towards the chart.

mike t-diva, Thursday, 10 January 2013 12:19 (four years ago) Permalink

You'd have thought the record company would have looked into the workability of this whole thing in advance. Bit of a cock-up imo.

impound the alarm (NickB), Thursday, 10 January 2013 12:23 (four years ago) Permalink

Would the individual singles sales be significant enough to make a decent entry in the chart anyway? January record sales are notoriously slow anyway. And didn't Bowie or someone in his organisation think of this? Is the same thing happening in the US, incidentally or are their charts based on airplay as well as sales? Sorry, a lot of questions there.

Rob M Revisited, Thursday, 10 January 2013 12:23 (four years ago) Permalink

"The OCC are saying that they can't distinguish album pre-order sales from single track sales, as the info isn't provided to them by the retailers"

i don't think that's right. it's that if you pre-order the album on iTunes you get the single free. and those freebie numbers are being added to the column for actual sales of the single, and can't be disambiguated (supposedly). like i said, it seems like a reasonable decision to exclude the song if the figures are that polluted.

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 10 January 2013 13:28 (four years ago) Permalink

can't they just subtract the number of albums pre-sold? are they a bit thick or something?

impound the alarm (NickB), Thursday, 10 January 2013 13:30 (four years ago) Permalink

I just think they need to consider compiling these charts on the basis of "songs" rather than "singles" as such. Maybe that gets us back to the pre-1952 days of sheet music sales but I'm not totally optimistic that streaming charts will remedy the situation.

In any case, it was the straw that broke this particular camel's back - there are, as I said, a number of other factors contributing to TPL's demise, not least my stroke a year ago but also the generally low number of hits the blog's been getting, the failure of the BiA book, etc. Time maybe to be doing something else with my life.

Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Thursday, 10 January 2013 13:53 (four years ago) Permalink

hray!

Mark G, Thursday, 10 January 2013 14:22 (four years ago) Permalink

Put this on Twitter, but I'm thinking of what else to do with TPL; I think it would work as a book, like David Thomson's Have You Seen...? but with albums; one 500-word entry per page (different from but related to the blog) and No Received Opinions. Who would publish it, or would it be e-book/Kindle time?

Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Thursday, 10 January 2013 14:36 (four years ago) Permalink

i wd've thought eBooks might be the way to go in terms of stress vs accessibility?

Broken Clock Britain (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 10 January 2013 14:40 (four years ago) Permalink

Woebot's just published an eBook of his blog writings:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Big-Book-Woe-ebook/dp/B00AY0D4GI/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1357828940

impound the alarm (NickB), Thursday, 10 January 2013 14:44 (four years ago) Permalink

I also saw that today. Have a lot of respect for young Matt Woebot; unlike me, he gets off his backside and gets things done. I should follow his example.

I wouldn't now publish CoM as a book because on the rare occasions I look at it now I just put my head in my hands and sigh: "Did I REALLY think that ten years ago?" But I'm sure TPL, given the right sort of push, would.

Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Thursday, 10 January 2013 14:46 (four years ago) Permalink

Speaking purely from a reader's POV, I'd prefer a physical copy, because a TPL book would have future value as a reference work. I imagine it would feel trickier to dip back into an e-book.

mike t-diva, Thursday, 10 January 2013 16:12 (four years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

had a dream where boney m's "el lute" segued into leonard cohen singing "take this waltz" and it was just perfect

wizzz! (amateurist), Thursday, 25 August 2016 05:36 (one year ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

boney m are good but vinyl is bad

mark s, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 16:07 (five months ago) Permalink


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